Here we go: The final Locked On Jaguars 2019 NFL Draft scouting report. I know, I didn’t go in-depth on any defensive prospects with these, as I am a strong believer that the Jaguars need to select a blue-chip offensive player at seventh overall. I’ve watched multiple defensive players who will be available at the pick, but my time felt best-served studying the prospects who could drastically improve Jacksonville’s offense heading into a crucial 2019 season.
Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams is at the top of that list of prospects.
Arm length be damned.
The three year, 44-game starter for the Alabama Crimson Tide started all 15 games at right tackle as a true freshman and was named to the 2nd team All-SEC before moving to left tackle in 2017 to replace now-Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson. Since, Williams has earned back-to-back 1st team All-SEC and was named to the 2018 All-American team. His résumé, paired with his clear versatility and availability, should immediately jump off the page when researching Williams. It did for the Jaguars at least, because the team hosted him for a top-30 visit.
However, Williams has fallen victim to the overly lengthy draft process, where folks tend to overthink things. Williams’ Combine results created concerns with his game in the eyes of analysts everywhere, with short arms and average athleticism that has led many to believe he’s better suited as a guard in the NFL.
But Jonah Williams is a perfect example of why tape matters more than testing numbers. Yes, he has really short arms compared to the average NFL tackle. But if you based your opinion of him solely off of his arm length and not off of his tape, you wouldn’t understand that he consistently finds ways to elevate his game beyond that natural limitation.
Natural length limitations… and how he beats them
There are times on film where Williams will struggle against length edge rushers in one-on-one pass protection. When you consider his arm length ranks in the 26th percentile among NFL tackles, that’d to be expected from time to time.
There are going to be times where Williams loses battles vs. length. It’s just going to happen with his build. Defensive end Montez Sweat, who’s been projected as a top 10 pick before news broke of his enlarged heart, is as lengthy a pass rusher as they come. At 6-5 3/4″ (88th percentile among NFL DEs) with 35 3/4″ arms (97th %tile), Sweat utilizes length in order to win pass rush matchups, and tackles with 26th percentile arms like Jonah Williams typically won’t stand a chance when they get locked out.
That is, unless you’re Jonah Williams:
One of the most impressive aspects of Williams’ game is his mental processing. Off the field, Williams studies his opponents like no other, creating spreadsheets of opposing defensive ends pass rushing moves and charting their impacts, in order to plan his approach for an upcoming game. And you can see that processing on film, and it does him wonders despite natural limitations with length. Above, Williams is paired with Sweat again, and Sweat attempts to lockout and pull again, much like the previous rep which was two quarters before.
Williams understands the same move is coming through the initial contact, and reacts swiftly. He gets his arms over Sweat’s double arm-bars to limit a full extension and obtain leverage through the move, then utilizes his strength to eliminate the arm bars and win the rep.
This is smart football. And this mental preparation paired with refined technique is what separates Williams from the natural length limitations as a pass protector.
Same story here vs. Clemson in the National Championship. On the first play of the game, vs. projected top-20 pick defensive end Clelin Ferrell who stands at 6-4 3/8″ (69th %tile) with 34 1/8th” arms (72nd %tile), Ferrell gets early leverage and locks out with a double arm-bar and pulls Williams through before he can recover. But much like against Sweat, Williams notes this for future reference…
Only a couple of plays later, Williams’ initial punch hits before Ferrell can extend, and Williams’ hand placement prevents Ferrell from getting any extension. Williams follows the early leverage gain with excellent, chopping footwork to mirror Ferrell’s direction and eliminate him from creating pressure.
Williams’ masterful hand technique identifies Ferrell’s inside hand reach to begin an arm-bar and knocks it away, which derails Ferrell’s initial pass rush plan of a long arm and rip move. With that initial leverage and understanding of Ferrell’s attack, Williams can get his outside arm through Ferrell’s chest to minimize the impact of Ferrell’s inside rip move.
Again… Ferrell attempts the same move as he did above, and while Williams doesn’t necessarily win this rep cleanly, he still comes out on top by eliminating Ferrell from disrupting this pass. Williams’ inside hand knocks away the inside arm bar, and Williams gets through the inside rip move to force Ferrell outside. Getting popped up early turns this into a more powerful rush for Ferrell, and makes the end result less clean of a win for Williams, but regardless: A win is a win.
So yes, Williams’ length can work against him sometimes. Much like how every offensive lineman has a natural limitation work against them. It’s about how a player rises above those limitations to win that’s important, and Jonah Williams is as polished as they come at overcoming his obstacles.
Mean streak blocking
Jonah Williams plays football with a violent attitude. He finds pleasure in knocking defenders off of their feet and into the dirt.
Much like my report on Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson, I can just put a running thread of clips of Williams’ mean streak and they’ll explain themselves. He makes blocking fun to watch.
(This is Williams totally stone-walling defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, another projected first round pick… by the way.)
Jonah Williams’ hand usage is incredibly poised, and is consistently on display in order to win blocks. He moves them quickly and in sync with what he sees from the defensive ends hand and arm movement, and he punches with a ton of violence in order to kill any pass rush plan coming his way.
Same story, different play. And Williams getting his hands to your chest will stall out defenders more often than not. He’s just so violent.
Williams cuts across Ferrell’s face swiftly and gets his hands to Ferrell’s shoulder quickly in order to keep Ferrell’s arms contained. The short screen would have easily been batted away by Ferrell without an adequate block, but Williams’ quick movement and technique allows this screen play to develop.
Fit with Jacksonville
While Jonah Williams spent the past two seasons at left tackle for Alabama, and despite many analysts projecting him as an interior player at the NFL level, I think Williams would fill in perfectly at right tackle for the Jaguars and reunite with Cam Robinson as bookends for Jacksonville’s offensive line. This would make Will Richardson the team’s swing tackle, and a former fourth round pick that the team considered a “value pick” serving as the swing tackle is excellent depth value.
And then, considering Williams could fit just about anywhere on the offensive line, he becomes an immediate chess-piece if any injuries occur. If Cam Robinson goes down, Williams could slide to left tackle with experience and have Richardson handle RT. If Andrew Norwell or A.J. Cann go down at either guard spot, Williams has the size and technique down to move inside and play well there, with Robinson and Richardson playing outside. You can plug-and-play Williams pretty much anywhere.
And then… there’s a legitimate connection between the Jaguars and Jonah Williams that must be noted. Thanks to Filip Prus of Big Cat Country and soon-to-be co-host of Locked On Jaguars for sending this info my way.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has repeatedly stated the value of references throughout the 2019 offseason and how it has impacted decision making. He said it about the hiring of offensive coordinator John DeFilippo:
My process has always been to go with people I’ve coached with, people that I’ve coached with or who have coached with the other coaches. It’s very difficult for me to try to hire someone I don’t have any type of relationship with at all – or at least someone I know and trust.
He said it about the signing of quarterback Nick Foles:
“Really, for me, you gotta be able to talk to people you trust. You have to hear that, so you get the truth. And sometimes, that’s the hardest thing—when you’re trying to find out, and going through the process, whether it’s free agents or the college draft, finding someone you can trust that’s gonna tell you exactly what’s going on.”
And… he said it two years ago when the Jaguars drafted left tackle Cam Robinson, noting his relationship with former Alabama offensive line coach Brent Key. Key coached Jonah Williams at Alabama through the 2018 season before taking the Georgia Tech associate head coach and run game coordinator job recently:
Marrone said he was able to get a unique perspective on Robinson because of his relationship with the Alabama coaching staff. From 1997 through 1999, Marrone worked as the offensive-line coach at Georgia Tech, where he coached current Alabama offensive-line coach Brent Key, who played guard for the Yellow Jackets.
“Coach (Nick) Saban was great,” Marrone said during a press conference after the Jaguars picked Robinson. “I’ve known coach Saban for a long period of time. And then actually his position coach is a player that I had coached when I was at Georgia Tech, Brent Key. So obviously I have a lot of insight because of the relationship I had and felt very comfortable with the player.”
And what did Marrone learn about Robinson through this extra access?
“A very tough player,” Marrone said. “That was the one thing when I was talking to coach Key, who I coached, who was a tough football player himself, knows what I’m looking for, knows what I like. Hey, I need to know: Is this kid a tough kid? He said, ‘Absolutely.’ And that really means a lot because of the relationship I had with coach Key.”
If history indicates anything, Doug Marrone values the references he has access too across the NFL, whether it be for coach hirings, free agent signings, or draft prospects. Considering his long, well-documented relationship with Brent Key and the knowledge we have of Key’s impact on the Robinson selection two years ago, it’s tough to assume Marrone won’t utilize Key’s word on Williams, who Jacksonville recently hosted for a top-30 visit.
Oh, and Key is a huge fan of Williams, by the way:
He’s [Williams] a special player, a special person, a special talent. To have somebody that has that much talent, yet be such an intellectual player … he studies the game … Really, just a coach on the field to the point where Sunday and Monday nights he’ll be in my office watching tape until late – 9:30, 10 o’clock – watching the blitzes, watching the pass rush. He gives his initial game plan thoughts. I’ll get a text at 12, 12:30 at night from him, ‘Hey, coach, what about this? What about that? I’m looking at this game, have you seen this?’
Pros and Cons
- Three year starter at LT/RT, earning numerous All-SEC/All-American honors
- Physical, mauling run blocker crossing the line of scrimmage
- Active chopping feet to mirror pass rushers and drive defenders
- Processing/athleticism on combo blocks makes him flexible to play in and out
- Mental game is top notch. Charts pass rush moves in film study. Adjusts incredibly well to length moves with refined technique and understanding pass rush plans
- Hand technique is as polished as it gets. Quick, mean punch to knock hands away through pass rush
- Length. 6-4 1/2 (15th %tile), 33 5/8″ arms (26th)
- Lack of length can prevent gaining initial leverage which makes for tougher recovery
- Weight (302 lbs) could lead to issues vs. power outside
- Athletic testing scores came back average/below average
Jonah Williams is a player with very few negative aspects to his on-field game, but has fallen victim to draft-season nitpicking due to his athletic profile. While his size makes him appealing as guard, I believe he has the technique, mental processing ability, and on-tape athleticism and strength to be a world beater at tackle or anywhere on the offensive line.
If Jacksonville chooses to go offensive line in the first round, Jonah Williams has the résumé to be worth the pick. He’d be an immediate upgrade to the Jaguars offensive line and provide a ton of flexibility for the team’s depth purposes. Doug Marrone’s connection with Williams’ offensive line coach Brent Key only strengthens the idea of Williams ending up in back and teal, and the Jaguars would welcome Williams with open arms to help protect newly-signed QB Nick Foles.
Jaguars vs. Titans preview: Keys to success, matchups to watch
Distractions, distrust, disobedience. The Jaguars will have to overcome it all in order to gain a victory on Thursday against the Tennessee Titans.
This week, the Jaguars will play host to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. Typically, an 0-2 team facing their archnemesis would have nothing but the game on their minds — especially in a short week. This week, however, has been derailed due to the unexpected trade request by cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
As the Jaguars are wont to do, they have positioned themselves in a terrible spot, and have no one to blame but themselves as to why Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville. First, however, they have a game to play.
Game Time info
- When: Thursday, September 19th, 8:20 PM ET
- Watch: NFL Network, CBS47 locally (click)
- Listen: Jacksonville 1010XL AM, 92.5FM
Five Keys to Success
- Stay healthy
Staying healthy is still the theme of the season. Luckily for the Jaguars, they are getting healthy just in time for their most important matchup of the season against the Titans. Cornerback A.J. Bouye (hip), left tackle Cam Robinson (knee), and swing tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (hamstring) should all be good to go for tonight.
- Contain Derrick Henry
The Jaguars are well aware of the 99-yard touchdown run that embarrassed the team last season. While they are all sick and tired of seeing it, the team will still need to be fully aware of Titans running back Derrick Henry’s presence. Containing him, as they have done sometimes in the past will go a long way to winning this football game.
- Don’t get distracted
This team cannot afford to get distracted. At 0-2, tonight’s game becomes a must-win and getting distracted by the ongoing trade rumors surrounding their star cornerback should not affect them. The players say they are focused on the task at hand but will need to prove it.
- Figure out the offensive line
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on Wednesday during his post-practice press conference that Cam Robinson and A.J. Cann will be starting tonight at left tackle and right guard, respectively. However, Marrone also indicated that he would not be surprised if guard/tackle Will Richardson and swing-tackle Cedric Ogbuehi get some playing time. The Jaguars need to figure out their five best offensive linemen and play them for the remainder of the season.
- Free Gardner Minshew
Last week the Jaguars let rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew loose for the final possession of the game. This week, they will need to let him loose the entire game. There’s no reason to have kid gloves on Minshew anymore. The running game has been almost nonexistent the first two weeks of the season, and the offensive line is finally getting healthy. Let Minshew-mania rock the bank tonight, and hope the “Souther Swagger” connection between himself and receiver DJ Chark, continues.
- Myles Jack vs. Derrick Henry
It is well documented what went down during their last matchup, and one player who is well aware of the Play? Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack. Jack was one of the key players who missed multiple tackles on Henry during the teams’ last meeting. Jack will need to be on his A-game tonight as the Titans absolutely will look to recreate it.
Derrick Henry with 99-yard run!pic.twitter.com/G16Oz96gPS
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 7, 2018
- Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Jalen Ramsey
This is kind of tongue-in-cheek, but the Jaguars will need to have the disgruntled corner reeled in for the game tonight. There is no doubt Jalen Ramsey does not want to become a distraction, however, he simply is. If he can go out and play at a high level — as he has done for the past 50 games — the Jaguars should be in good shape tonight.
- Jaguars offensive line vs. Titans pass rushers
The Titans pass rush is nothing to scoff at. Newly acquired outside linebacker Cameron Wake already has 2.5 sacks on the season, and will be looking for more against a rusty left tackle in Robinson. The Jaguars offensive line is still in flux and dealing with Wake and Titans defensive tackle Jurell Casey will be a tough task.
Players to watch
Gardner Minshew — The rookie quarterback is looking to build off of his impressive late-game heroics last week against the Houston Texans, and an impressive week one performance. The Jaguars will need to keep the rookie grounded, but allow him to play his game all the same.
Jalen Ramsey — Just keep an eye out here. Does Ramsey continue business-as-usual or does his antics during last week’s game — which ultimately led to his trade demand — continue? Our guess is Ramsey plays as if nothing is going on away from the field as he typically has.
This could be Ramsey’s last game — or more likely last home game — in a Jaguars uniform. Fans will have some mixed emotions, however, there is no argument about how much Ramsey has meant to this franchise over the past three seasons.
It is still baffling the Jaguars organization allowed it to get to this point, but here we are.
Leonard Fournette — Fournette has to play better than he did against the Houston Texans. Although he impressed with a couple of receptions, his play on inside runs left a lot to be desired. The Titans have the worst missed tackle percentage through two weeks this season (26%), and Fournette along with the Jaguars must take advantage.
It is worth noting that offensive coordinator John DeFilippo told members of the media on Tuesday he does not mind the number of repetitions Fournette has received. That trend should continue today. Last week, Fournette played on 65/67 offensive snaps.
Cam Robinson — The Jaguars offensive tackle will make his regular-season debut tonight playing for the first time in over a year. Robinson told Locked On Jaguars after practice on Wednesday while there will be some rust, he is excited and anxious to finally get out on the field.
Official game prediction: Jaguars 24, Titans 21 — Jaguars somehow overcome all the distractions and rally around their rookie quarterback.
FILM ROOM: Jaguars receiver DJ Chark is building a résumé
Drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Jaguars receiver DJ Chark is growing into the number one receiver the team envisioned.
After recording only 14 receptions for 174 yards during his rookie year, Jaguars receiver DJ Chark is slowly turning into a legitimate go-to receiver for the Jaguars. Only two games into the 2019 season, Chark has already accumulated 11 receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
Hard work and dedication to his craft during the offseason is beginning to pay off. The young receiver believes his confidence level is growing. “A lot,” Chark told Locked On Jaguars when asked about how much his confidence level has grown. “Just from knowing where to be, when to be there. Knowing the offense. Knowing the routine. All that helped me out a lot.”
Every offseason, while players work on everything, they typically hone in on one specific area. For Chark? “My routes. That’s the biggest thing,” Chark said. “Getting in-and-out of breaks, understanding my playbook, and just tweaking small things in my game.”
While the second-year wide receiver is confident heading into week three, he knows there’s a lot he needs to do to get better. “I think I’ve been doing well, but I haven’t had a perfect game,” Chark said when asked if he was satisfied with his game. “A lot to work on, a lot to get better at. Also we 0-2. A lot we need to work on, so not satisfied, no.”
Typically, it takes about a year for a receiver to truly get into a rhythm as far as the speed of the game, knowing where to be, how to be there, and all of the little things that a receiver needs to understand. Chark has seemingly met at least some of those goals, and while he still has a lot to work on, the first two weeks into the 2019 season has been a fantastic start.
Last week against the Houston Texans, Chark accounted for seven receptions (nine targets) for 55 yards and a touchdown. The two incompletions came on an overthrown ball from rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, and a fantastic pass breakup made by Texans’ cornerback Lonnie Johnson.
Chark has built a close bond with the Minshew. Something he says is due to the “southern swagger.” Minshew was born and raised in Mississippi while Chark was born and raised in Louisianna. “We from the south,” Chark said when asked about the chemistry the two have together. “It just works that way.”
The two will hope to continue growing together as a dynamic duo over the course of the season.
Shortly after the Jaguars loss to the Houston Texans last Sunday, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone was very complimentary of the second-year receiver out of Louisiana State University stating, “I think it’s consistency…He’s a guy that can go in there and make plays and someone that is going to keep getting better and better.”
The team hopes Chark continues to show promise as the season progresses. Having ready-made chemistry with Minshew certainly helps.
Onto the film room:
Thoughts: Probably the best aspect of Chark’s game is his ability to travel from one side of the field to the other effortlessly, and with speed. Chark ran a 4.34 40-yard dash during the combine in 2018, and it shows on the crossing route ran against the Texans last week.
During his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo complimented the receiver on how much work he is putting in running all over the field.
What might seem simple at first glance, Chark does a fantastic job at maintaining inside leverage with the corner while creating separation with his speed. The reception itself illustrates a consistency with his hands — something receiver had not been able to find throughout his football career.
Thoughts: Chark made good on his “southern swagger” connection on Sunday. The Louisiana native breaks on his crossing route and follows Minshew throughout to give the rookie quarterback a clear, and clean opening for a would-be game-tying touchdown. The growth and maturity in his game is obvious.
DeFilippo agrees with Chark’s opinion that his confidence is certainly growing. “He’s running across on the touchdown pass and he points up to the sky like they put it up for me,” DeFilippo said when speaking about Chark on Tuesday.
Once again, Chark uses his hands to haul in a perfectly placed football thrown by his rookie quarterback. With his confidence level rising, as DeFilippo points out, the skies the limit.
Thoughts: Against soft coverage, Chark does a fantastic job at selling the nine-route while transitioning to a stop-route just after the first-down marker. In years past Chark likely either runs the wrong route or is too hesitant at the line to sell a deep route. Now, with a full understanding of the playbook and his position, he can just run freely.
Thoughts: On his most impressive play of the game, Chark shows off his insane body control and hands catching. This is a complete 180 from his play last season when Chark was inconsistent in both areas.
The ball from Minshew comes is a beauty. Perhaps slightly earlier than he’d necessarily like, but the moment Chark turns around to look for the ball and makes a perfect adjustment in the air to make the grab on first-and-ten.
The play Minshew missed on. Depending on the move Chark would have put on Texans’ safety Tashuan Gipson this goes for six.
Chark will hope to continue the path to becoming the Jaguars number one receiver on Thursday when the team plays host to their division rival Tennessee Titans. Chark knows how important this game is coming off of a short week against a division opponent.
“It’s pretty big,” Chark said. “But I’m excited. Quick turnaround from Sunday. It’s football — going out there with my offense. Can’t wait.”
Jaguars Wednesday injury report: Bouye listed as questionable
On Wednesday, the Jacksonville Jaguars released their final injury report before their game on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans.
The Jaguars are getting ready to play after an eventful week of reports surrounding the organization. They look to stay grounded and salvage a season that look to be in for a steep decline if they can’t pull out a win in week three.
Final Week three injury report:
- There is a multitude of players back on the field this week after missing time for the Jaguars throughout the first two games. This includes the likes of Cam Robinson, who will be starting at left tackle and Yannick Ngakoue. Backup swing tackle Cedrick Ogbuehi and wide receiver Marquise Lee are also ready to return to the playing field if their number is called.
- A.J. Bouye is officially listed as questionable ahead of Thursday nights action. The Jaguars expect to have Bouye back after he missed week two with a hip injury. As he continues to work out the minor kinks and get back into football form, Tre Herndon will prepare to go in case Bouye is once again absent.
- Two players that are officially listed as out are first-time Jaguars, Josh Oliver, and D.J. Alexander. Oliver went down in training camp with a hamstring injury and continues to battle with that issue. There is no timetable for when Oliver will be able to return but he would sure help a struggling tight end group.
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